Hiten Ladkani, a student at Seneca College, shares the challenges he faced and how dedication, optimism and perseverance helped him find his path.
It all began when I joined Seneca College by enrolling in the Event Marketing program. As my interest in sponsorship marketing, rights and strategic partnerships started to develop; I realized I wanted to learn more and explore the various aspects of brands. That’s when I decided to accept the challenge of pursuing one of the many demanding courses at Seneca. My undergraduate degree in media and communications is one of the reasons why I chose to pursue marketing and focus on sponsorships. One of the strongest reasons that defined my interest is I love giving back to the community, and sponsorship marketing can help me do that.
I don’t have a dream job, but I have an ideal role. The perfect position would be the sponsorship manager for a professional sports team. My focus for the partnerships I would be developing would be first and foremost to add value to the team and, more importantly, add value for the fans, the employees, and the community. From what I see, the partnership industry is already moving in this direction, and that’s how I would like to lead.
My inspiration initially stemmed from my experience as a professional cricketer in India. I looked up to Mahendra Singh Dhoni, a humble cricketer who always carried himself with class. Whether he was struggling or successful, he always put the team first, and I believe in that philosophy as well. When Steve Jobs was developing the MacBook, he said something that intrigued me, along the lines of successful brand strategies enabling the development of products to satisfy consumer needs, which they have not realized yet. Now more brands than ever have realized the impact of this approach. It’s fascinating to be working from the inside on projects like this for a brand.
Being a professional athlete, I have been through many challenges; however, the one which left a mark on me was when I was preparing to move to Canada. I was all set to fly in January when I suffered a ligament tear in my left knee during training. It was heart-wrenching because the moment I fell, the first thought I had was I won’t be able to fly. I had to undergo surgery in January and attend online lectures while I was half asleep due to the medication I had to take for the pain.
I was told I couldn’t fly for six months, but I worked hard to recover, and I was ready in four weeks. Unfortunately, the pandemic hit India hard, forcing me to cancel six consecutive flights to Canada. I was on the brink of giving up on my journey, but I pushed myself to keep trying by telling myself not to give up. I think it’s natural to be vulnerable and afraid of failing, but you must be willing to try. Since I refused to give up, my persistence paid off, and I finally touched down in Canada in July of 2021.
My greatest achievement was my ability to manage my professional sports career and studies simultaneously. I used to practice for six hours daily, travel for practice sessions and matches and spent four hours in school before going home to sleep.
I was blessed to represent India while graduating with good grades. I will treasure those experiences forever because I overcame every challenge I faced.